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Human rights report criticizes Pakistan, China


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this is what I refer to when I say I dont buy the "helping the Iraqi people" stuff. Isnt this the same thing as the UN talking tough and then letting Hussein do as he wants?

 

 

Human rights report criticizes Pakistan, China

Monday, March 28, 2005 Posted: 3:24 PM EST (2024 GMT)

 

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice discusses human rights report on Monday.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The State Department renewed its criticism of the human rights records of Pakistan and China on Monday in a report that followed U.S. decisions to arm Pakistan with jet fighters and to avoid a showdown with China on the way it treats its people.

 

The report, which focused on U.S. efforts to improve human rights in 98 nations, was issued by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who praised the Bush administration as being "on the right side of freedom's divide."

 

"We have an obligation to help those who are unlucky enough to have been born on the wrong side of that divide," she said.

 

The report credited Pakistan with some human rights improvements but a continuing poor record. It said Pakistan's President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's government had amended the country's constitution to strengthen his powers at the expense of the National Assembly and that the military remains heavily engaged in politics.

 

It also cited Musharraf's decision to continue as the army chief, saying that had stirred political debate.

 

"The government has committed that new local elections will be scheduled for 2005 and national elections to be held no later than 2007 will be free and fair," the report said. "The United States will continue to encourage the government to adhere to this commitment and will provide needed support."

 

China is more heavily criticized in the report for suppressing political, social and religious groups, and individuals.

 

China has amended its constitution to protect human rights and has adopted legal reforms for monitoring the government. But the report said "it is unclear how or to what extent the constitutional amendment and other legal reforms will be enforced."

 

President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other senior administration officials constantly raise human rights issues in their meetings with Chinese leaders, the report said.

 

Last week, the United States rewarded Pakistan for its counterterrorism support with a green light to purchase more than a dozen F-16 jet fighter planes. The sale was cast in terms of an overall security boost for the region, including India and Afghanistan.

 

On Monday, thousands of opposition activists -- supporters of a coalition of radical Islamic groups -- rallied in Peshawar in northwest Pakistan, chanting "Death to dictatorship!" in the latest demonstration against President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's grip on power.

 

Assistant Secretary of State Michael Kozak said the demonstration might reflect an easing of restrictions by the government. "When you open up a situation, people make their views known," he said.

 

The Bush administration is insisting Pakistan adhere to a commitment to hold free and fair national elections in 2007, as scheduled.

 

Two weeks ago, the administration shelved a resolution criticizing China that had been prepared for an international human rights conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Officials said they had worked out a deal a few days earlier with China on a half-dozen reforms.

 

Publicly, the Bush administration has criticized China consistently for mistreating its people. The administration is also trying to persuade the European allies not to lift an embargo on weapons sales to China.

 

The United States, meanwhile, has come under criticism for abuses committed against terror suspects at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo, Cuba, and has transferred some prisoners and released others.

 

The report said Pakistan had taken in 30 of the transferred prisoners, by far the largest number. Morocco, described in the report as having a poor human rights record, took in five. Saudi Arabia, which took four, was cited for a poor record but also credited with some improvements.

 

 

 

http://www.cnn.com/2005/ALLPOLITICS/03/28/...s.ap/index.html

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